Friday, November 28, 2008

Erev Shabbos #5

Here's my Erev Shabbos post for this week- as I seem to have a bit of time (I've been invited out for both meals- shame on me that I'm not cooking!!)

What to give as a gift for those you're going to?

When I was in Israel, for seminary, more often than not, the gift was store-bought food, usually candy or rugalach for the children, or a bottle of good wine for the parents. I tried to spend a minimal amount of money, yet invested time to make it look nice. And I always brought a gift, whether they said to or not- they appreciated it anyways.

I lived in NY for an extended period of time, and when I went out for Shabbos there- I also brought gifts, usually store-bought, but after a while, the families that I routinely went to, requested that I not bring gifts anymore- and they meant it.

Now, as I'm here in Israel- I still feel like I should bring gifts. But, these families with children probably wouldn't want a large amount of candy- or a bottle of wine. Oftentimes I find myself giving home-baked goods- like a cake on a platter, or cookies for the kids. Sometimes, with close friends, I even find myself offering a kugel or side dish for the meal- knowing how hard it is to cook a full Shabbos for many kids and guests.

I don't think I would have done that in the US- too many people are hechsher conscious of where their food comes from- so home-baked may not have been the best choice. But, it seems that in my neighborhood- everyone assumes that I use Badatz ingredients (which I do) and keep to high standards- so they are more than happy to take the delicious food, if I do say so myself :-)

So which is better? The store-bought, or the home-baked? Both probably show my degree of affection and gratefulness...but is one better than the other? Does home-baked show I put more time and thought into it- or was I just baking for myself and made extra? Does store-bought mean that I spent more money, and therefore it means more? Or does it show I was too lazy to do it myself?

Either way- it seems that it's nice to give a gift to those you head to for Shabbos.

So, I'm off to bake a cake or two.
Have a Gut Shabbos!


The Babysitter said...

I always appreciate home baked stuff more than the others, and it usually taste better too, and it shows you put more effort and thought into it, and you get to be creative.

But it does become an issue with Kashrus, by Shaloch manos we only eat the homemade stuff from families we trust.

My family actually just ate by a family I babysit by on Friday night, last week, and it was also the 3 year old daughters birthday, so we brought 3 things, wine for the parents, a customized candy tray from o nuts, and a chanukah music cd for the birthday girl. The wine and candy tray are easy gifts that you can never go wrong with, but I think it's just accepted as stam a gift.

Anyways, enjoy your baking, and not having to cook for Shabbos!

nmf #7 said...

Babysitter: Wine and candy are an accepted gift in America, but surprisingly- if I bring that kind of stuff here- it's looked at as being slightly on the expensive side...
If I can't bake, I try to bring something lower key, like flowers, or a batch of rugalach- yum.